Using my phone app, Step Walk, I am having fun mapping our hikes. Go to my WordPress blog, outdoorsindoors.wordpress.com to read more and see photos.
This month I am combining let outs with daily hikes. We are lucky enough to have a wonderful, fenced yard to play in at one let out and endless fields to explore at another let out. Both families are happy to have the dog gang stop by to interact with their dogs on their dogs' turf and we are happy to have yet another place to explore and play.
We had the BEST day ever today. I had even more D.O.G. Park of Nashuafun than usual. Today I left Cabot and Emma at home. I took Ketli out with Katie, a long time client. I knew Katie loves to retrieve and swim and I wanted to check out a pond area that someone shared with me years ago. I had not been back but I knew that groups working on field skills with their dogs used to work there. I ran into people having fun with their dogs and water.
Ketli and Katie had a blast chasing sticks on land and in water (Katie went after them in water and Ketli only tried when they were at water's edge) It was pure pleasure for me to see both dogs in their element. They were splashing, galloping and leaping for joy. And that made me feel like leaping too! What fun. Look in the photo gallery for photos of our morning.
We are out in all weather. During the winter we are able to go off the main trails to explore other parts of the woods which we love. We can access locations that the main trails do not get to. While the dogs explore, play, sprint and roll I enjoy the chance to use my snowshoes and take photos of the landscape the the signs of winter wildlife. Look for my photos on my blog Outdoors Indoors at Wordpress.
September: We are finally getting some days without the high humidity and less bugs seem to be swarming at me as we hike. At least I don't have to carry branches waving them around my head wildly on each and every hike. Yesterday we went to Purgatory Falls, one of our favorite places. First we played ball in an open field then hiked down to Purgatory Brook for a swim. Maple played well with the puppy.
Puppy's name is Riverview's Bucket List Hope. Her call name is Ketli(from the ket in bucket and the li in list). I hope to breed her in the future if she passes all her clearances. Take a look at the photos I just posted.
Enjoy these cooler days. We will be.
A new puppy has joined my family... a female Chocolate Labrador Retriever from Old Town, Maine. It took a year to find her and we are so happy to welcome the little cutie into our family. She has already hiked with the big dogs and proved herself to be a real trooper. She crawled under logs, climbed up rocks, ran through pebbles, played at the water's edge and just plain had a great time. She is napping in a crate by my feet as I write. If you love Labs and/or puppies go to the Hike a Pup Facebook page or my blog, outdoorsindoors.wordpress.com. If you are a Google Plus user there will be updates there too. (under M Hardy)
Well, we are getting to the end of spring and so far there have been no black flies here in southern NH. There have been gnats, sometimes called "4-o'clocks", pestering us. They buzz around eyes, mouths, noses and ears hoping to enter. If you hike with your mouth open there is a risk of one flying in.. and worse are the times when they smash into an eye. I hate bug-spray; it feels like I am poisoning myself. But if I don't want to be covered from head to toe with clothes in sticky, hot weather I have to use it. I spray my hat and neck hoping to protect my face... NOT...
Whenever I can find sweet fern I stick it in my hat, shoulder straps and front pack. Then I carry some to swing around my head as needed. What a sight. And no one is sure that the ferns' scent really does repel bugs. The emergency measure I carry is a head net. You put it on over your hat and tie it on each side next to your neck to keep bugs from flying up through the bottom. It dims the world, catches your breath and causes a sauna atmosphere and it just plain stifling and hot. So you see why I try sweet fern fashion and wild swinging of branches first.
Some hiking places are worse than others. Shade is worse than sun. Let's see, we are in woods, in shade, 80% of the time. There have been years when the horseflies arrive that I have started a hike, gotten a certain distance from the car, and been attacked. They don't dive down and take a ferocious bite once. They gang up on you and buzz in pursuit. I try to stay calm and wave them off and stop breathing so they won't be attracted to my warm breath. But that does not last long because they persist. So I start running and waving my arms hoping I can get so far ahead of them that they will give up. I think I just feel I am doing something and feel less like a plodding target. But it is annoying and disappointing to have to charge out of the woods and go to plan B.
Plan B, go to an open, sunny hiking location or put my head net on to start a different trail hoping the horseflies are not congregating there that day.
Viva New Hampshire. We still love you.
A marvelous hike in deep snow. We started out at a temperature of 10 Fahrenheit and finished a couple of hours later at 17 degrees. The sun was shining, the snow was sparkling, there was no wind and the sky was a bright blue. Go to the video link to see the beauty of our time outside.
Here are two links to reflective pieces that I wrote about the wonder of NH. UNH Cooperative Extension Service publishes a weekly column called "NH Outside" to inspire readers to get out to enjoy our state and look closer at the natural world. They also send the articles statewide to print publications for inclusion when space allows. Peaceful Orchard was conceived when I was on a short afternoon hike with a few dogs. Angels in the Snow describes friendship and adverse weather conditions in the White Mountains. Enjoy.